China’s Mars rover is ready to begin a new chapter as it drove from its landing platform and started exploring the Martian ground. Such news makes China the second country to land and operate a rover on Mars.
The space agency has begun its ambitious mission last July. Its Tianwen-1 probe successfully carried the Zhurong rover to the Red Planet. Now, the six-wheeled, solar-powered, 530-pound rover has finally started roaming the Martian ground.
Here is what you need to know.
Zhurong’s Mission Begins: What to Expect
News about Zhurong’s next chapter on Mars has been recently released, and we should expect more data soon. The rover is now exploring the Martian ground in what seems one of China’s most challenging missions ever developed.
China Ready to Make History
China is now witnessing another chapter of its Mars mission unfolding since its rover’s latest success. The country has now powered a few probes to the Moon and landed Zhrurong on the Red Planet.
The US and Russia are the only ones to arrive on Mars, with the US being the only one to operate a rover on the Martian ground.
Many European, US, and Russian attempts to bring rovers on the Red Planet were not so successful. Back in 2016, for instance, there was a crash-landing of the Schiaparelli joint Russian-European spacecraft.
The most recent triumphant arrival occurred a few months ago, in February when NASA landed the bold rover Perseverance.
NASA had also launched a small helicopter dubbed Ingenuity on the Red Planet, making history as the first-ever powered flight on another planet.
But, China didn’t want to stay in the shadow for long and decided to develop its Mars mission, too. As a result, it succeeded in catching up with Russia and the US, whose space missions have already decades of work in space exploration.
So, the Chinese space agency has finally launched the first module of its upcoming space station in May. The hopes are high as the country intends to have a crew on the space station by 2022 and send humans to the Moon.
Only time will tell how successful China could become.